Amid Rising Climate Litigation, Award-Winning Professor Spotlights ESG Strategies at Annual Berkeley International Law Symposium


The Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), edited and produced by Berkeley Law students, publishes biannual issues on a broad range of scholarship that spans public international, private international, and comparative law disciplines. This year the journal was led by Co-Editors in Chief Cassidy Alford Veidelis ’24 and Paloma Palmer ‘24.

In addition to publication, BJIL organizes the annual Stefan A. Riesenfeld Symposium, through which leading scholars and practitioners assemble to address pressing international legal issues. The topic this year was “ESG & International Law.”

Taticchi holding award
University College School of Management Professor Paolo Taticchi won this year’s Stefan A. Riesenfeld Memorial Award from the Berkeley Journal of International Law.

University College School of Management Professor Paolo Taticchi received the journal’s prestigious Stefan A. Riesenfeld Memorial Award at the symposium, recognizing his impactful work and significant contributions to sustainable business practices. During the award ceremony, Taticchi delivered a compelling keynote address.

His speech illuminated the increasingly crucial role of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in today’s business environment, especially against the backdrop of escalating climate litigation. As businesses encounter growing legal responsibilities and public expectations, Taticchi emphasized the importance of enhancing ESG frameworks not only to comply with legal standards but also to implement effective sustainable business practices.

The symposium focused on the dynamic landscape of international ESG policies and regulations. Discussions explored sustainable financing and investments, the intersection of ESG regulations in investor-state disputes, and the necessity for corporate transparency and sustainability.

“ESG considerations are no longer peripheral elements within business strategies; they are central to managing risks and leveraging opportunities in the modern economy,” Taticchi explained.

Taticchi at symposium
During the annual Riesenfeld Symposium, Taticchi stressed the need to fully integrate ESG considerations into business practices sustainably and transparently.

His remarks highlighted significant recent developments in climate litigation, notably a landmark decision by the European Court of Human Rights that Switzerland’s inaction on climate change constituted a violation of human rights — setting a precedent that underscores the legal stakes associated with environmental neglect.

Taticchi’s recognition at the symposium underlines the importance of interdisciplinary contributions in addressing the challenges facing today’s global community.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Stefan A. Riesenfeld Memorial Award,” he said. “It’s a recognition that resonates profoundly with my commitment to fostering sustainable business practices and contributing to global social and economic change.”

His insights into the transformative potential of robust ESG practices resonated with the audience, which included leading practitioners and influential academics eager to understand and discuss the evolving regulatory frameworks governing global businesses.

“Increasing ESG awareness is not just about risk mitigation,” Taticchi noted during his address. “It’s about creating a sustainable business model that aligns with the broader objectives of global welfare and environmental sustainability.”

The symposium served as a critical platform for exchanging ideas and strategies on how to integrate these practices more deeply across sectors. As companies worldwide adjust to these realities, Taticchi’s insights highlighted the growing interconnection between legal obligations, corporate responsibility, and sustainable development.